ABSTRACT: Our purpose was to compare the quality of ureteral imaging in pediatric patients using two different MR sequences: the non-enhanced heavily T2-weighted (W) turbo spin-echo sequence (TSE) and the gadolinium-enhanced T1W fast-field-echo sequence (T1 FFE). An experimental study on three pigs was first performed. The TSE, before and after furosemide injection, was followed by the T1 FFE sequence. The clinical study included 11 infants and 10 children. With some modifications the same MR parameters and techniques were used as in the animal study. The TSE with TR 8000 ms and TE 650 ms implied 6 radial stacks each of 40 mm thickness. The T1 FFE included TR 18 ms, TE 2.9 ms, flip angle 60, and 50 slices with thickness 0.7 mm. After post-processing, image reconstructions qualitative and quantitative analysis were performed. Complete visualization of the ureters was achieved in 35 of 42 (83%) cases. Seventy-four percent of the ureters were completely visualized with T1 FFE compared with only 19% with TSE. Sixty-nine percent of the ureters were better imaged with T1 FFE than TSE and 21% equally well imaged. Four ureters (10%), either obstructed or due to poor renal function, were better imaged with TSE. The two sequences are complementary. Visualization of non-obstructed ureters is excellent with T1 FFE and the sequence is superior to TSE. The TSE, however, may be equal to or even better than T1 FFE in visualizing obstructed ureters or ureters draining malfunctioning kidneys.
European Radiology 07/2003; 13(6):1423-7. · 3.22 Impact Factor